The Mexican Mafia

by on October 21, 2011 at 7:44 am in Economics, Law, Political Science | Permalink

The Mexican Mafia is a fairly small prison gang (perhaps 150-300 made members) and it has significant operational control only within prisons in Southern California yet the Mexican Mafia is extremely powerful. In fact, the MM taxes hundreds of often larger Southern California street gangs at rates of 10-30% of revenues. How can a prison gang tax street gangs? In Governance and Prison Gangs (also here), a new paper in the APSR, David Skarbek explains the structure, conduct and performance of the Mexican Mafia.

The key to the MM’s power is that most drug dealers will sooner or later, usually sooner, end up in prison. Thus, the MM can credibly threaten drug dealers outside of prison with punishment once they are inside prison. Moreover, prison is the only place where members of many different gangs congregate. Thus, by maintaining control of the prison bottleneck, the MM can tax hundreds of gangs.

One of the most interesting aspects of Skarbek’s analysis is that he shows–consistent with Mancur Olson’s stationary bandit theory–that as the MM grew in power it started to provide public goods, i.e. it became a kind of government. Thus, the MM protects taxpayers both in prison and on the street, it produces property rights by enforcing gang claims to territory and it adjudicates disputes, all to the extent that such actions increase tax revenue of course. The MM is so powerful that it often doesn’t even have to use its own enforcers; instead, the MM can issue what amounts to a letter of marque and reprisal, a signal that a non-taxpaying gang is no longer under its protection, and privateers will do the rest.

The MM even internalizes externalities:

In addition, the Mexican Mafia regulates drive-by shootings…because any particular street gang only suffers a portion of the increased attention of law enforcement from drive-by shootings, each street gang has an incentive to do too-many (Buchanan 1973). In 1992, Mexican Mafia members sent notes throughout the prison system and Sureño neighborhoods that any gang member participating in an unauthorized drive-by shooting would be killed. Shortly after the Mexican Mafia announced this rule, drive by shootings declined.

The Mexican Mafia has much to teach us about crime and governance.

Dan in Euroland October 21, 2011 at 8:52 am

Seems like an interesting article. Too bad the author has paid tribute to the Journal Mafia and does not have a free copy on his website.

Dan in Euroland October 21, 2011 at 10:04 am

Thanks for the link to the open copy. (I hope it was added after my post or I am just an arse. meh.)

Alex Tabarrok October 21, 2011 at 11:30 am

Added after at your prompting!

Peter Schaeffer October 21, 2011 at 12:12 pm

This post really shows how wonderful Open Borders are. Mass immigration provides exciting new topics for academics to study.

In a few more years, we may get to read about the economics of kidnapping. What factors determine whether the children are raped and killed? Optimal payoff strategies. Kidnapping insurance markets. Cartelization of kidnapping. The list pf possibilities is long.

We can hardly wait.

Hasdrubal October 21, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Absolutely, because there has never been a natural born American or group of Americans who participated in violent crime, ever! Nor are there any prison gangs composed of natural born American citizens, either!

The Anti-Gnostic October 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I guess your argument is that whites commit violence but not enough of it, so we have to import an ethnic group that will give us more.

Tylerh October 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Not much an economist, are you?

The default argument is, “people respond to incentives”.

Once upon a time, many US Boxers in the US were Irish. No longer. Did Irish genetic change? Or did the economic incentives for young Irish change?

The Anti-Gnostic October 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm

There is plenty of incentive not to engage in the drug trade, or the trade in stolen goods and child prostitutes, but Mexican gangs still do it. Do you really think these gangs will trade their .38’s for spreadsheets if we legalize the drug trade? Does MS-13 run any medical marijuana dispensaries?

Peter Schaeffer October 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Tylerh,

You are actually proving TAG’s point. Mass immigration from Ireland ended. Irish gangs died away (Whitely Bulger was the tail end). The Jewish Mafia faded. The Italian Mafia declined. I used to live in Cleveland Ohio (in the 1980s). The Italian mob was so weak that they allowed non-Italians to run organized crime (shocking to people with any conscience).

By allowing mass immigration to resume, we have revived the evils of a bygone era. Stopping mass immigration improves the cohesion and functionality of a nation. See the U.S. after WWI. Allowing mass immigration tears it to pieces.

Charlie October 21, 2011 at 7:10 pm

“I guess your argument is that whites commit violence but not enough of it, so we have to import an ethnic group that will give us more.”

It’s like reading an article about natural born criminals, and saying, “See! This is why we shouldn’t let people have babies!”

B. Wallis October 21, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Pace Peter Schaeffer, AIPAC is alive and kicking.

John Galt October 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm

“There is plenty of incentive not to engage in the drug trade, or the trade in stolen goods and child prostitutes, but Mexican gangs still do it. Do you really think these gangs will trade their .38′s for spreadsheets if we legalize the drug trade? Does MS-13 run any medical marijuana dispensaries?”

They will be run out of business by the most ruthless organization in history. Wal Mart.

Jim October 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Come on, now. They are only kidnapping and raping the children that we are too lazy to kidnap and rape ourselves.

Peter Schaeffer October 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Kudos.

Kidnapping. Another job Americans won’t do.

Akhil October 22, 2011 at 4:58 am

That one cracked me up.

Millian October 22, 2011 at 3:24 am

False comparison: many of their offences, being drug-related, wouldn’t involve them in organised crime were we living in the 1800s. On the other hand, in the anti-foreigner conservative’s world, there always has to be someone in prison for the sin of supplying people with drugs, whether foreigner or not.

Peter Schaeffer October 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Rape, murder, and kidnapping weren’t crimes in the 1800s.

Who knew?

After we legalize drugs, we need to move on to rape, kidnapping, and murder.

Josh S October 24, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Smoking a blunt is comparable to rape, so I see your point.

TM October 21, 2011 at 9:15 am

“The key to the MM’s power is that most drug dealers will sooner or later, usually sooner, end up in prison. ”

So the basis of their power is the coercion of the state and federal authorities whose market meddling once again aids the privatization of profit and the socialization of costs. The only thing these guys lack are lobbyists although if your count the lobbying strength of the prison industries I think they are covered. More like an example of failure of governance.

dan1111 October 21, 2011 at 9:56 am

Yes, it really irks me when the government interferes with the crime free market. Isn’t drug dealing protected in the Bill of Rights somewhere?

TM October 21, 2011 at 11:59 am

“Isn’t drug dealing protected in the Bill of Rights somewhere?”

No, and neither is commerce in general. The criminal status of various commerce or property is purely an accident of period and interests.

Anthony October 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Only alcohol is protected, and only in the 21st Amendment, not the Bill of Rights.

Gabe October 21, 2011 at 10:27 am

the drug trade has extremely powerful lobbyists…why do you think drugs are illegal in america even when states try to legalize them?

do you think it is because the feds love us so much?

dan1111 October 21, 2011 at 11:42 am

Provide some evidence for this outrageous claim.

The Anti-Gnostic October 21, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Here.

Standing down from the Drug War would mean a lot of unemployed Drug Warriors, just like the end of the Cold War threatened the livelihoods of a lot of Cold Warriors, so now they’re Terror Warriors.

Finch October 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I interpreted Gabe’s comment to mean Pfizer was lobbying in favor of the war on drugs, in order to prop up Zoloft sales or something.

Your interpretation seems a lot more reasonable.

prior_approval October 21, 2011 at 9:27 am

‘The Mexican Mafia has much to teach us about crime and governance.’

If only someone could come up with a clever hashtag, and transfer a few members of this elite gang to a Wall Street jail, systemic fraud would be significantly reduced?

Best satire site on the web, bar none.

question the question October 21, 2011 at 10:09 am

Your newsletter subscription – how do I?

The Anti-Gnostic October 21, 2011 at 9:30 am

The key to the MM’s power is that most drug dealers will sooner or later, usually sooner, end up in prison.

And there go your efficiencies Alex, because in the end it’s only the taxpayer-supported government’s drug war and prisons (and the importation of millions of Mexicans, and the welfare to service them) that enables the Mexican Mafia to exist.

IOW, we pay trillions in taxes to support a massive welfare and security bureaucracy that decides which drugs are going to be illegal and treats the borders as non-existent. Then, when the MM and other Meso-American death cults capitalize on the resulting chaos, academic economists nod and murmur about how much the wise Latinos have to teach us about crime and governance.

Voltaire really had academics pegged.

dan1111 October 21, 2011 at 10:00 am

I think you are taking him a little too seriously.

Ryan October 21, 2011 at 11:15 am

This, combined with Tabarrok’s post, make for a fascinating concept.

Millian October 22, 2011 at 3:26 am

Ridiculous. Prohibition creates gangs. Gangs respond to incentives. They are not genetically-primed. There was no Irish mafia in Ireland. And there is no Hispanic gene for crime. Racist toerag.

The Anti-Gnostic October 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

It’s not that drug prohibition creates criminals. It’s that drug prohibition puts the drug trade in the hands of criminals. If it were just a matter of economic incentives, then why aren’t white college students selling illegal marijuana and psylocybin to each other engaged in shooting wars with their competitors? For that matter, why aren’t soccer moms and their accountant husbands forming criminal gangs to profit off the black market in drugs?

People with high time preference tend toward criminality. An individual’s time preference depends heavily on their level of intelligence and their temperament, both of which have substantial genetic inputs. On the Gaussian distribution, Meso-Americans trend leftward, which is reflected in their higher rates of criminality.

It is what it is.

Dr. Octopus October 23, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I have a modest proposal to address the problems. The basis of my proposal is an assumption that the negative externalities of a decriminalized recreational drug market /may/ have a lesser social cost than the externalities of the externalities of the current prohibition.

The government ostensibly regulates the recreational drug market because addiction distorts the rational self interest of such consumers. What the government ought to look at is the cost of externalities associated with the full prohibition of this market. The government should develop quantitative measures for these externalities and begin to systematically deregulate this market through selective decriminalization. It postulate that the total external social cost of this market will decline dramatically, and that there is likely a regulatory equilibrium to be found somewhere to the left of the current “legal curve”.

If nothing else, I suspect that the rate of decapitations along the southern U.S. border will begin to decline, rapidly.

Dr. Octopus October 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Minus one “of the externalities” in P1

“It postulate = “I postulate” in P2

Josh October 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm

“It’s not that drug prohibition creates criminals. It’s that drug prohibition puts the drug trade in the hands of criminals. If it were just a matter of economic incentives, then why aren’t white college students selling illegal marijuana and psylocybin to each other engaged in shooting wars with their competitors? For that matter, why aren’t soccer moms and their accountant husbands forming criminal gangs to profit off the black market in drugs?”

That’s pretty flat nonsense.

First off, you introduce class and then argue that economic incentives aren’t determinative — college students and soccer moms? Well, illegal grow ops and meth heads definitely engage in gun battles, and those are disproportionately caucasian endeavors. Likewise, bootleggers with illegal still continue to fight low-level battles, as do rural folk selling oxy.

Second off, and this is a broader point regarding immigrants and crime, in the late 19th and early 20th century, Chicago was a roiling pit of squalor and crime, including kidnapping gangs and roving gangs of muggers. But the gangs weren’t generally set up on a racial basis, and the Know-Nothing or Nativist gangs were in control of large swaths of the city, while the German neighborhoods were largely crime free (aside from illegal beer houses). See Herbert Ashbury’s Gem of the Prairie for a fantastic history of crime in Chicago to WWII.

Third, the incentives are different for upper and middle class drug dealers — you’re less likely to go to prison, more likely to get rehab or other alternate sentences, and the risk of being busted is much lower. Even still, as you move up the chain, people tend to arm themselves and the disputes tend to be settled with more violence.

Fourth, the Mexican gangs largely emigrated from the United States to Mexico. The Mexican Mafia was a response to already extant American gangs in American prisons. It then spread south over the border.

Finally, all you’ve proposed is some sub-Bell Curve racist twaddle to justify your racist beliefs.

The Anti-Gnostic October 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Your argument is just to scream ‘racist’ and ‘white trash do it too.’ It doesn’t change the reality that Meso-Americans, along with American blacks, make up the overwhelming majority of violent criminals in the US. If you don’t believe me or want to wave around Ron Unz’s discredited macro-statistics, just check out the Most Wanted sites of any major urban area. Also, what happened to all those Italian gangsters once Prohibition was repealed? Did they all become vintners and distillers and brewmasters?

Bottom line, the existence of the Mexican Mafia is yet another argument against mass Third World immigration. Alex and Tyler prefer abstract, Panglossian musings because 1) they’d be committing professional suicide if they espoused any other position and 2) they think they will always be able to insulate themselves from the deleterious effects of national immigration policy.

As for the bell curve and rates of social pathology, the data is there and spans decades. Eventually they’ll just outlaw the data, but it won’t stop people paying thousands of dollars more for houses in majority white/Asian school districts.

Josh October 24, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Dunno why it won’t let me reply in proper threaded form, but here goes:

Your argument is just to scream ‘racist’ and ‘white trash do it too.’

I’m sorry, you were the one that brought race into this. The difference between “college dealers” and “white trash” is class; class implies different economic incentives. So, no, if that’s what you think my argument is, your racial intelligence has rather failed you here.

It doesn’t change the reality that Meso-Americans, along with American blacks, make up the overwhelming majority of violent criminals in the US. If you don’t believe me or want to wave around Ron Unz’s discredited macro-statistics, just check out the Most Wanted sites of any major urban area.

Twaddle and handwaving. Whites make up the majority of violent criminals in the UK, along with most other Euro nations. Unless you want to argue that the US genetic stock is significantly different, it’s laughable to argue that the differences in crime rates are predicted by genetic differences — it requires a biologically unsupportable argument to believe that the phenotypical differences between a Russian and a Scot predict differences in violent crime rates.

Also, what happened to all those Italian gangsters once Prohibition was repealed? Did they all become vintners and distillers and brewmasters?

Are you laboring under the delusion that The Godfather was a documentary? The Irish gangsters installed one of their scions as president. Further, most of the Italians never were gangsters, and certainly not disproportionate to their ethnicity in America. But to answer your question, most of them were imprisoned or converted their money into legitimate businesses and a minority of them stayed in crime.

Bottom line, the existence of the Mexican Mafia is yet another argument against mass Third World immigration.

Well, no, it’s not. For several reasons: First off, the Mexican Mafia came from Mexican Americans, who were already here and annexed into the US. They formed as a reaction to other racist gangs, and were an outgrowth of the Pachucos in East Los Angeles, the oldest continual street gangs in the US. They were a way to unite the various local Hispanic gangs once they were in prison, as ethnic gangs tend to be controlling once in prison. But the majority were Americans.

But even that’s not a complete view, because Eme has included people like Pegleg Morgan, a white American from Bakersfield.

Second off, as I mentioned above, the Eme has spread from the US to Mexico, not the other way around. So it’s actually an argument that Mexico should prevent emigration from the US.

As for the bell curve and rates of social pathology, the data is there and spans decades. Eventually they’ll just outlaw the data, but it won’t stop people paying thousands of dollars more for houses in majority white/Asian school districts.

Except that it’s not convincing data to anyone who has a decent stats or social science background. I’m not sure where your “outlaw the data” comes from, but I assume it’s the same fevered part of your brain that leads you to think that your 19th century racialisms are convincing science.

Gordo October 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm

The MM is made up of Hispanic-Americans, not Mexican Nationals. We can supply our own violent gang members, thank you very much.

KevinH October 21, 2011 at 9:41 am

It would be really interesting if someone would try and analyze how often an innocent person is killed by the MM. I’m sure they aren’t 100%, but perhaps by having a network of trusted information flow they could get to a fairly high “conviction” rate? On a related note, can a gang be considered corrupt seeing as how they are usually quite open about their intentions?

Kyle October 21, 2011 at 10:40 am

Kevin,

I think any time an organization has to use force or the threat of force to achieve their goals it’s safe to say that they are corrupt. Transparent or not, they’re still murderers.

However, I would be interested to see how often the MM “gets it right” in regards to killing “lawbreakers.” With regards to payments to the MM, I imagine they’re on top of their game (easy to monitor and attribute blame). Pinning down exactly who was in the El Camino doing a drive-by shooting might be more difficult (although they could rule out the gang to which the shooting victims belonged).

The Anti-Gnostic October 21, 2011 at 11:22 am

Threats of torture and kidnapping will definitely get results. The homey who steps out of line probably has his own family members turning him in.

It’s funny (and tragic) to see the Left’s policy choices coming back to bite them. Open borders means a liberal society gets flooded with illiberal people who don’t have the same hangups about physical violence and due process that liberal society does. Open borders also means lots of workers flooding the market so good luck with your living wage and collective bargaining rights, Occupiers. Open borders also means a heavy environmental footprint; David Gelbaum had to pay $100M to get the Sierra Club to shut up about that one.

Right Wing-nut October 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

So that would be all governments, then?

The MM is functioning well precisely because it makes no bones about being a Mafia, unlike a Government, which rules, after all by Divine Right Consent of the Governed.

They also are relying on the US to provide them with a lot of things that would be difficult for them to directly handle–such as physical security from revenge responses.

The fact that the state has refused to do anything to deal with this gang is–disturbing.

John Galt October 24, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Because clearly the IRS is corrupt, based on that measure.

allan October 21, 2011 at 10:11 am

links did not work for me. I would, however, like to read the article.

MM October 21, 2011 at 11:14 am

Many thanks to the MM for showing us a better way to do business.

Silas Barta October 21, 2011 at 11:32 am

You know you’re an economist when …

– you find yourself needing to cite “Buchanan 1973″ when claiming that gangs want to do “too many” drive-by shootings.

dan1111 October 21, 2011 at 11:40 am

Hahahaha excellent!

hern October 21, 2011 at 11:49 am

someone needs to turn this into the sequel to the wire.

i vote for sudhir venkatesh to act as research consultant.

The Anonymouse October 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Too many people conflate efficiency with moral goodness.

While corruption is always wasteful, efficiency and organization can be used for good or evil.

Additionally, studying good management principles does not necessitate support for the enterprise being studied.

Jim October 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm

What does it say about our prison system if criminals are capable of running a multi-million-dollar murder and extortion operation from INSIDE THE FREAKING PRISON??

Sorry for the shouting.

Henry October 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Because there are a bunch of crooks among the prison guards.

Millian October 22, 2011 at 3:28 am

It says it right there in the blog post. It’s not because they can pass like ghosts through prison bars. It’s because there is a credible threat of drug dealers meeting them when they are both in prison at the same time.

Cliff October 24, 2011 at 12:19 am

But why are they allowed to run a gang INSIDE PRISON? Why is any criminal activity allowed INSIDE FREAKING PRISON??

RDG October 24, 2011 at 8:35 pm

It’s because drug dealing is sanctioned at high levels of government by government untouchables who profit by it. The illegal drug distribution system is protected. It’s nonsense to think otherwise. Some segment of society craves drugs and another segment satisfies it. That segment is protected from serious prosecution. Corrupt prison guards are the bottom layer doing the bidding of very highly placed government people. You want to stop the plague of drugs on our society? Execute dealers on sight and within weeks it’s over. No one will deal drugs after a very short time. Instead, process them through our legal system and you have the MM supported from the top levels of the government. Legalization is no answer. Execution of dealers, large and small, on sight is the answer. Go ahead, cry me a river for a drug dealer.

Christopher Taylor October 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm

“it has significant operational control only within prisons in Southern California”

Tell that to Oregon cops and see what reaction you get.

Andrew' October 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm

A guy walks into a bar and says “gimme a screwdriver”

Right Wing-nut October 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I thought he said “That hurt!”

question the question October 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm

“This isn’t a drill.”

NAME REDACTED October 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm

“The Mexican Mafia has much to teach us about crime and governance.”

Yes, but that is redundant. ;-)

sarah October 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm

The Mafia wasn’t always doing illegal activities to make money. At first they were the group that people could go to when the couldn’t go the police. This article gives a great explanation on how the Mafia started.

http://explainlikeakid.blogspot.com/2011/10/how-mafia-started.html

christ what a shit article October 22, 2011 at 1:42 am

That’s the stupidest fucking article I’ve ever read. No scholarship, simplistic explanations that make a mockery of history. Blatant vague categories like ‘mafia’ that apparently covers every single organised crime group on the planet. It also makes criminals out to be “people’s bandits”, which is a crock of leftist shit. Mafia-type groups always arise out of underworld criminality. They aren’t the ones being bullied, they are bullies among bullies that happen to have better organisation skills. Also a school yard analogy, christ that is fucking bad.

That blog is more evidence that people on the Internet are becoming like Idiocracy and want to be entertained, not informed.

Take your shitty, simplistic, reddit-inspired, nerd blog elsewhere.

Vernunft October 22, 2011 at 1:40 am

And they pick a mean apple.

David October 22, 2011 at 11:38 am

This seems right in line with Hernando DeSoto the Mystery of capital theme. People who are trapped outside of the capitalist scheme find extra-legal ways of providing government services. Desoto helped defeat the terrorist group Sindero Luminso by formalizing property rights and bring them into the capitalist world.

Short Version..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWakV0L8XWI
Long version
The Poor Man’s Capitalist: Hernando de Soto
By MATTHEW MILLER
Published: July 1, 2001
It’s de Soto’s shorthand for the de facto property rights that rule the world, his crystallizing metaphor for the common law at work in the most lawless spots on the planet. And even if the story is apocryphal — and something in de Soto’s relentless proselytizing makes you suspect it might be — that hardly matters. Like Ronald Reagan’s infamous welfare queens, de Soto’s barking dogs capture the heart of a profound social problem — in this case, the persistence of global poverty.

“Imagine a country,” de Soto says, “where nobody can identify who owns what, addresses cannot be verified and the rules that govern property vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, or even from street to street.” This is what life is like, he says, for 80 percent of the people in the developing world and the former Communist countries. Through “extralegal” businesses and home building, de Soto reckons, the world’s poor have accumulated assets worth $9 trillion — 20 times the direct foreign investment in the third world since the Berlin Wall fell and more than 46 times as much as the World Bank has lent in the last three decades.

But because these assets are not “paperized” in the formal documents and legal structures common in the West, they can’t function productively as capital. People can’t use their homes as collateral for loans to expand businesses, for example. They can’t trade things beyond the small circle where they’re known and trusted. The poor live outside the law this way because living within the law is impossible: corrupt legal systems and warped rules force those at the bottom of the world economy to spend years leaping absurd hurdles to do things by the book. It’s this “legal apartheid,” de Soto insists — not “cultural” factors like religion or the legacy of colonialism — that explains why some peoples thrive and others don’t.

stalin October 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Wow! You aren’t stupid
YOU JUST
trend leftward

Phil O'Dendron October 22, 2011 at 6:58 pm

In my professional observations, many if not most of the people incarcerated for drug offenses are basically criminal types, and would be so if drugs did not exist.

NAME REDACTED October 24, 2011 at 2:13 am

Drug laws not existing makes criminal activities much less lucrative.

Andrew October 24, 2011 at 1:13 am

I have not written much on the subject at http://www.seeitmarket.com but can see how provocative it is. There are many takes on each side and will be interesting to see if any mainstream candidates bring it up in 2012.

Sockmonkey October 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm

So, does this speak to the necessity of the death penalty for major druglords wherever they are found? If al-Qaeda is any measure, the more you kill their leaders, the more you get the second-third-fourth-tier incompetents in leadership and the easier it is to take down the whole organization.

That’s the only reason I can see for studying their “governance” style.

AD October 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm

‘The Mexican Mafia has much to teach us about crime and governance.’

Thuggery by Gov’t (the police) has largely been held in check by the Civil-Rights Bar, which would no longer exist if it attempted to diminish the enforcement efforts of The Emme.

5JimBob October 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Wow. Do people realize how closely Hizbollah or Hamas operate on the Mexican Mafia’s principles?

Peter October 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm

The Mexican Mafia gets away with it because they don’t have bazillions of lefties screeching at how THEIR death penalties are raaaaacist!

Another Skeptic October 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm

“Shortly after the Mexican Mafia announced this rule, drive by shootings declined.”

That can’t be right. The NY Times keeps telling me that the death penalty doesn’t deter crime.

John Blake October 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Obvious solution: Identify members of the Mexican Mafia in their various prison-houses and proceed to execute them from the top down. As leaders –how you say– recuse themselves, the organization will implode. Feral gangsters’ feeding-frenzy to acquire MM assets, its authoritative street-cachet, will make them obvious targets for next-round elimination. “Two cats of Kilkenny” supplies the model.

willis October 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm

“The Mexican Mafia has much to teach us about crime and governance.”

Actually, their best lessons are about governance. If you want to study crime, look to the Obama administration for instruction. They’re teaching it fast and furiously.

Jubal October 28, 2011 at 6:51 am

@Schäfer
Ein echter Amerikaner würde niemals einen Namen wie Schäfer verwenden. Sie sollen nach Deutschland zurückgehen.

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